The safe deadlift

Most professional athletes and recreational gym participant have at one point used deadlift as part of their training programme.  This is an excellent exercise as it requires various body parts from head to toe to work in unison to perform the movement.

Looking at the picture of two different lifters at the set-up phase lets quickly analyse the male lifter first: he lacks hip flexibility thus can’t get low enough, his Thoracic spine is kyphosed (rounded) and it is obvious to see that his abdominals are not braced and ready for the lift. Furthermore his shoulder blades are not pulled back to start the movement. He will be prone to injuring his neck, shoulders and lower back.

The female lifter seems to have all of the above issues addressed and if we were to be picky, we would say that her neck is slightly too extended. This can lead to neck joint compression. Powerlifters would usually look up when they deadlift as this encourages the back muscles to be activated before they lift. However most of us are not expert powerlifters.

What one would like to achive in terms of ‘perfect ‘ spine alignment would be having a broomstick lined up from the sacrum, T6 vertebrae and the occiput. This is basically what we call ‘neutral’ spine where the spine is neither too flexed nor too extended.

Try this in the gym next time and you will feel much more confident in being able to deadlift safely.

At In Touch Physio, we have a full size squat rack and Olympic barbell to help you lift properly should you need.

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